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Final Four Prop Bet Bonanza

I wrote that just to use the word Bonanza.

Andy Lyons

We've reached Final Four weekend, and even though nobody cares about your bracket, we all know it's busted. No Dunk Cities to root for, no Zags to root against and no MARSHALL HENDERSON for the elderly to feign outrage.

So aside from an excuse to get day-drunk, it's my task to provide you with some Final Four props to keep an eye on, take to Vegas, make slap-bets with the guy at the next table in the Buffalo Wild Wngs, whatever. You need odds and I'm going to find them. And if they don't exist, I'm making them up.

Let's start with our basic team bets

Odds to Win the National Title







Wichita St


Case for the favorite: Louisville (and more specifically Russ Smith) have been running through college basketball for the past month and seem more or less unstoppable. Their turnover causing 2/3 trapping zone was made to force 25 Wichita turnovers, and if the Shockers try and stay under ball screens like they did against Ohio St, the Cardinals have the ability to both shoot over and slash past them. It's just not going to work. As much as I love the Cinderella story (and I have Wichita in the author pool), Louisville's ticket to Monday's game has already been all-but-punched. They just have to get past....

Value Bet: Syracuse. I'm not going to lie, at least 93% of the rationale for this pick is because they took out my Hoosiers in the 3rd round. I actually came down with food poisoning last Thursday and after drugging myself into a coma, slept through most of the game. I caught the score towards the end of the game and refused to believe it actually happened until I checked the score the next morning. Was hoping it was my worst fever dream ever. But after re-watching the game once reaching lucidity, I have to point out Indiana hadn't looked that flummoxed in a couple years. Syracuse's zone is going to be able to force Michigan into bad decisions on offense and the Orange will have an obvious matchup opportunity if the Wolverines put Trey Burke on Michael Carter-Williams. With as much Big Ten basketball as I've watched this season, I can say with some degree of confidence Michigan has not seen a defense as good as Syracuse's this season and have the personnel to keep Trey Burke in check.

Odds to Win the MOP

Brandon Triche


CJ Fair


Cleanthony Early


Gorgui Dieng


Michael Carter-Williams


Nik Stauskas


Peyton Siva


Russ Smith


Tim Hardaway Jr


Trey Burke


Case for the Favorite: This has been Russ Smith's tournament and there is no way a Louisville title would culminate in anyone else, as Smith has been using a ridiculous 38% of Cardinal possessions. You'd have to go back to 2011 Jimmer Fredette to get that kind of usage (or actually last year's Russ Smith was pretty crazy, too). Louisville isn't going to change up their gameplan this weekend. Smith will get his share of shots, and your share of shots and THE WHOLE DAMN BAR'S SHARE OF SHOTS. It's hard to make a case for anyone except Smith, unless you consider....

Value Bet: Trey Burke. I know I just spent the previous two paragraphs telling you the title game will be Louisville/Syracuse, but if Michigan is going to get there, it'll be on the shoulders of the National Player of the Year. If there's one person you'd want on your team to create easy shots for themselves before Syracuse is able to set up their zone, it would be Burke. If there's one person who Syracuse has to account for at all times on the court, allowing the zone to put itself off balance, it would be Burke. If there's one person who can catapult himself into the position of being the best Point Guard in the draft with two good games, it's Trey Burke. +300 isn't the greatest "value," but this thing is going to be either Smith, Burke or Carter-Williams (I don't care that Dieng is shooting 83% on his twos) so close your eyes and just pick one.

Other Prop Bets that Caught My Eye

Player to score 1st point of game (Wichita St vs. Louisville): Peyton Siva +600. I see him getting an easy layup within 8 seconds of tipoff.

Player to score 1st point of game (Syracuse vs. Michigan): Brandon Triche (+550). Always pick the guy guarded by a Hardaway. Just always.

Dunk City Alley-Oop to close Georgetown game making it into "One Shining Moment" (-10000000): Hey you'll make a penny.

Kevin Ware's horrific you-know-what-I'm-talking -about making it onto "One Shining Moment" (+100000000000000000): Ok, these last two may not have been real bets.

Will Mike Rice be coaching at a Division 1 Program for game 1 of the 2014-15 season? No (-600). This bet is very real on Bodog and might be a safer bet than whatever interest you're getting on your kid's college fund.

So go check some of your favorite gambling sites and list here some of the great prop and future bets that you think are money-makers. We're also looking for ideas for Bingo squares for the title game, so ideas for that are also welcome, too. Leave them in the comment section!